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Critics: NY gov's abortion bill would hurt women

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 27, 2013 at 7:08 pm •  Published: February 27, 2013

Cuomo made his proposal a major part of his State of the State speech in January, combining it with a women's rights agenda for the workplace and in the face of domestic violence. He repeated his support for greater abortion protections three times, shouting and pointing his finger to the cheering audience: "Because it's her body, it's her choice!"

Democratic Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins is sponsoring a bill that most opponents see as the basis of Cuomo's proposal. But her spokesman, Mike Murphy, said the bill simply makes sure state law conforms to current federal law and treats "abortion as an issue of public health and medical practice rather than as a potential crime."

A Cuomo spokesman said in a more recent opinion piece for newspapers that the proposal would codify the federal law, not expand late-term abortions. Cuomo spokesmen said Wednesday that much of the criticism from the coalition doesn't address parts of Cuomo's bill.

Cuomo counsel Mylan Denerstein said the measure will not allow so-called "partial birth" abortions, the late-term abortions that are banned by federal law unless the mother's life is in danger. The bill also wouldn't force doctors or hospitals to perform abortions over their religious convictions.

"The statements made by the opposition are outrageous and disingenuous," Denerstein has said. "The governor's position is to purely codify existing federal law. To be clear, there would be no change whatsoever in law and practice now existing in the state of New York ... there is no editorial comment, no expansion, no radicalization and no interpretation."